NBA Rookie Class Mock Draft: Version 2.0

Another week, another mock draft, and there has been plenty of movement amongst the guys' selections (hoopsworld.com)

Another week, another mock draft, and there has been plenty of movement amongst the guys’ selections (hoopsworld.com)

After a rousing week of more player profiles and Draft related conversations, Nate and Connor decided to take another stab at a mock draft. Once again, the mock only covers the first round, yet there have been many changes from the week before, including one of the guys’ first overall selections: Continue reading

NBA Rookie Class Draft Conversation: What Should the Cleveland Cavaliers Do?

Could Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and the Cavs use the No. 1 pick, or would they be better trading it away? (cleveland.com)

Could Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and the Cavs use the No. 1 pick, or would they be better trading it away? (cleveland.com)

Here at NBA Rookie Class, we figured it’s about time to start debating, and what better topic than the NBA Draft? In the first ever debate, our insiders Connor and Nate discuss what they think the Cleveland Cavaliers should do with the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Continue reading

NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Jamaal Franklin

Jamaal Franklin's time at SDSU was well spent, will it result in the draft stock he's hoping for? (www.zimbio.com)

Jamaal Franklin’s time at SDSU was well spent, will it result in the draft stock he’s hoping for? (www.zimbio.com)

Jamaal Franklin, the 6’5″ athletic beast out of San Diego State, has been slotted as a possible first round pick by packing plenty of potential for a number of teams (In our draft: didn’t make first round by Nate, 18th to Atlanta by Connor). Labeled by some scouts as a Tasmanian Devil Continue reading

NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Lorenzo Brown

Lorenzo Brown could make plenty of unexpected noise at the next level (backingthepack.com)

Lorenzo Brown could make plenty of unexpected noise at the next level (backingthepack.com)

In the time since C.J. Leslie’s arrival in Raleigh, the Wolfpack (no Hangover pun intended) have been completely revitalized as a competitive collegiate basketball program. It’s no surprise, though, that most of N.C. State’s success has also hinged on the play of one of the nation’s more premier passers, Lorenzo Brown. Brown –who over his time at N.C. State helped to Continue reading

NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Giannis Antetokounmpo

There's plenty of mystery surrounding Giannis Antetokounmpo (spurstalk.com)

There’s plenty of mystery surrounding Giannis Antetokounmpo (spurstalk.com)

Not much is known about the interesting prospect from Greece –very few even know how to properly pronounce his name –but what we do know is that he’s an extremely interesting and intriguing player that will most likely hear his name called on Draft night.  There must be something, though, that has “the Greek Freak” on everyone’s draft board, even while being labeled as one of the biggest Continue reading

Conclusion of NBA Regular Season Provides Opportunities for Rookies

Houston's Terrence Jones drives against Detroit's Greg Monroe.  Jones has played well as of late, which could lead to more playing time in the postseason (kentuckysportsradio.com)

Houston’s Terrence Jones drives against Detroit’s Greg Monroe. Jones has played well as of late, which could lead to more playing time in the postseason (kentuckysportsradio.com)

The National Basketball Association is days away from concluding its regular season in fine fashion, with plenty still left to play for in these final hours. Teams are still jockeying for position in the postseason field, the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz are still both desperately trying to make the postseason, and the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats will be duking it out (in separate games) to see who claims the title of Most Futile Franchise for the 2012-2013 season.

With so much taking place in the seasons’ final days, it’s easy to forget that there is still plenty more at stake for the NBA’s rookies. Continue reading

BBVA Rising Stars Challenge: Rookies Play Well, Chuck Victorious Again

While we were hoping the game would highlight just the rookies of the league, Kenneth Faried and the rest of the sophomores had a different idea.  Faried led Team Chuck to a 163-135 victory with 40 points and 10 rebounds.

While we were hoping the game would highlight just the rookies of the league, Kenneth Faried and the rest of the sophomores had a different idea. Faried led Team Chuck to a 163-135 victory over Team Shaq with 40 points and 10 rebounds. (nba.com)

Team Shaq is going home sad tonight.  For the second time in as many years, Team Chuck came out on top, overcoming the lack of the first overall draft pick for the second year in a row, and not having the opportunity to have Kyrie Irving play for him again this year.

Regardless of which Team you were rooting for tonight, everyone came out a winner.  Both squads featured the best young talent in the league, and it showed tonight…on the offensive side of the ball.  In terms of statistics, this night was fantastic: Team Chuck 163-Team Shaq 135 with both teams shooting at least 62% from the field.  Numbers aside, it was a great way for the nation to see just how much the League’s rookies have grown in their short time in the season.  Here’s a running commentary/breakdown of tonight’s first-half action that can only make us salivate about what’s to come throughout the rest of this weekend: Continue reading

Harrison Barnes: In His Own Words

For quite awhile now, we here at NBA Rookie Class have tried to secure an interview with some of your favorite NBA rookies in the hopes of getting them to share some of their early career experiences with you, the readers.

Unfortunately, we don’t have enough pull yet to land ourselves that breakthrough interview.  Thankfully, though, our good friends over at Sound Cloud have!

Harrison Barnes has had an enjoyable start to his career throughout his young rookie season.(goldenstateofmind.com)

Harrison Barnes has had an enjoyable start to his career throughout his young rookie season.
(goldenstateofmind.com)

With that in mind, we bring you a recent interview with Golden State Warriors’ rookie Harrison Barnes.  Barnes has been enjoying a solid start to his career, having already recorded three double-doubles and career highs of 20 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.  Barnes also had himself the posterizing play of the month of November.

In his interview, Barnes talks about his ferocious slam, playing alongside of fellow rookies Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green, and much more.

Reality Check: Thunder’s Jeremy Lamb, Suns’ Kendall Marshall, Hawks’ John Jenkins Demoted

It’s a sad day when reality sets in.  For some of our rookies, that day has already come.

Three rookies from around the league were recently sent down to their organizations’ respective D-League teams in the hopes of getting the players more playing time and experience.

Several first-round draft picks from this years NBA Draft, including 12th overall pick Jeremy Lamb, 13th overall pick Kendall Marshall, and 23rd overall pick John Jenkins, all Continue reading

Rookie Rankings: Pistons’ Rookies Kyle Singler and Andre Drummond Impress

Now that everyone has successfully recoverd from the stuffing, turkey, and grandma’s green bean cassarole, it’s time for another week’s Rookie Rankings, leading us right into the most wonderful time of the year.  It’s been a wonderful year for some rookies, but not others.  Did your favorite have what it takes to stay on the list this week?

Pistons rookie Andre Drummond has plenty to be happy about this week, as he worked his way back into our Rookie Rankings (mlive.com)

Pistons rookie Andre Drummond has plenty to be happy about this week, as he worked his way back into our Rookie Rankings (mlive.com)

1) Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, PG

It’s getting harder and harder to find faults with Lillard’s performances.  Game after game and week after week, it seems as though no one will be able to unseat Lillard from this top spot on our Rankings.  Lillard averaged 18.3 ppg and 6.8 apg over four games this week; unfortunately, Damian’s offense couldn’t help the Trail Blazers in all aspects, as the team went 1-3 during this weeks games.
Last week’s ranking: 1 (no change)

2) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats, SF

Kidd-Gilchrist has cooled off ever so slightly, as noticed in his offensive numbers lately (11, 10, 8, 6 points respectively last four games), yet his effort on the defensive side of the ball is still noticed and very much appreciated by the Bobcats.  MKG is still averaging 1.2 spg and 1.4 bpg, very impressive numbers for any SF not named LeBron James and/or Kevin Durant.
Last week’s ranking: 2 (no change)

3) Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors, C

Valanciunas is starting to look like the steal of the Draft…the 2011 Draft, that is.  While Cleveland got a sure-fire All-Star in Kyrie Irving, Minnesota, Utah, and Cleveland are all kicking themselves for passing up on the big man from Lithuania.  J-Val had another impressive week, shooting 54.5% from the field and 75% from the free-throw line, a very impressive number for a 7-footer.  Valanciunas also shot the ball 33 times from the field and 12 times from the free-throw line, so you know those numbers are battle tested.
Last week’s ranking: 3 (no change)

4) Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors, SF

Barnes had himself a solid week of work, including one double-double and one dunk that shocked the NBA world.  While his other numbers may show a still-timid Barnes who is still trying to figure out his role on an ever-evolving Warriors team, plays like the aforementioned show as to why Barnes was drafted 7th overall, and that once he puts everything together, he could be posterizing people like that for years to come.
Last week’s ranking: 4 (no change)

5) Kyle Singler, Detroit Pistons, SF

Singler has shot up our rankings in the last few weeks, moving from an unranked-afterthought to someone who could find themselves still moving up if he continues to perform at this level.  Singler scored in double-digits in three of his four games this week, and also recorded his first career double-double with a 16 point, 10 rebound performance in a 108-101 win over Portland.
Last week’s ranking: 6 (+1)

6) Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers, SG

Waiters must have heard what we had to say about his performance last week.  Waiters immediately began scoring with a higher rate of efficiency, and getting to the free-throw line more, something that he had been doing a poor job of last week.  He’s also helped in other ways during Kyrie Irving absence, including dishing out 4.3 apg, an improvement over his season average of 2.9.
Last week’s ranking: 10 (+4)

7) Jeff Taylor, Charlotte Bobcats, SF

Taylor has been turning heads as of late, and it’s not simply because of his defense.  A solid all-around four-year player out of Vanderbilt, Taylor makes our list due to his increased contributions on the offensive end for the Bobcats; Taylor scored in double-figures in five straight games before only posting 6 points in a loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.  However, Taylor’s confidence has improved greatly, and he’s much more inclined to take a shot now than he was at the beginning of the season.
Last week’s ranking: N/A

8) Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons, C

Drummond fell out of our rankings last week due to some inconsistencies, and because he was out-performed by his fellow rookies.  This week, however, Drummond returns with a mission in mind: defense wins championships…and gets you on NBA Rookie Class’ Rookie Rankings.  Drummond, while horrible offensively this week, has contributed on the defensive side of the ball, averaging 9.8 rpg and 1.8 bpg.  Drummond also recorded his first career double-double with a 13 point, 13 rebound effort in a close 91-90 win over Toronto.
Last week’s ranking: N/A

9) Alexey Shved, Minnesota Timberwolves, PG

Shved’s playing time may quickly dwindle due to Ricky Rubio’s impending return, but Shved surely won’t go down without a fight.  The upstart Russian has averaged 9.8 ppg, 1 spg, and 2.5 apg this week, primarily off the bench.  While it’s Rubio’s job once he returns, Shved still has the opportunity to make his presence known off the bench for the T’Wolves.
Last week’s ranking: 9 (no change)

10) Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets, PF

It’s difficult to see a player with so much promise and potential plummet this far in our Rookie Rankings; however, it’s also very difficult to rank Davis much higher than 10th, considering that he hasn’t played in almost two full weeks now, due to a nagging ankle injury.  Should Davis return soon, he could easily find himself ranked much higher.  Should Davis not return soon, he could easily find himself off of this list.
Last week’s ranking: 5 (-5)

Don’t agree with our rankings?  Leave a comment below letting us know who deserves to be where on this list.  Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!